I thought it would be fun to take a little break from specific Caddo history this morning and instead read about a daily chore- cooking. These recipes are from an 1890 Welcome Baking Powder cookbook given to me by my mother. I am always astounded by the amount of work that was required to feed, clothe, and house a family in pioneer times. And my question for the day- “Just how big did a stewpan have to be to hold a boiling calf head?”
Boiled Calf Head (without the skin)
Calf’s head, water, a little salt, four tablespoonfuls of melted butter, one tablespoonful of minced parsley, pepper and salt to taste, one tablespoonful of lemon juice.
After the head has been thoroughly cleaned, and the brains removed, soak it in warm water to blanch it. Lay the brains also into warm water to soak and let them remain for about an hour. Put the head into a stewpan, with sufficient cold water to cover it, and when it boils, add a little salt; take off every particle of scum as it rises, and boil the head until perfectly tender.
Boil the brains, chop them and mix with them melted butter, minced parsley, pepper, salt, and lemon juice in the above proportions. Take up the head, skin the tongue, and put it on a small dish with the brains round it. Have ready some parsley and butter, smother the head with it, and the remainder send to the table in a tureen. Bacon, ham, pickled pork, or pig’s cheek are indispensable with calf’s head. The brains are sometimes chopped with hard-boiled eggs.
Potatoes A La Crème
Heat a cupful of milk; stir in a heaping tablespoonful of butter cut up in as much flour. Stir until smooth and thick; pepper and salt, and add two cupfuls of cold boiled potatoes, sliced, and a little very finely-chopped parsley. Shake over the fire until the potatoes are hot all through, and pour into a deep dish.
String, snap and wash two quarts beans, boil in plenty of water about fifteen minutes, drain off and put on again in about two quarts boiling water; boil an hour and a half and add salt and pepper just before taking up, stirring in one and a half tablespoons butter, rubbed into two tablespoons flour and half pint sweet cream. Or boil a piece of salted pork one hour, then add beans and boil an hour and a half. For shelled beans boil half an hour in water enough to cover and dress as above.
Break one egg into a cup and fill with sweet milk; mix with it half cup yeast, half cup butter, one cup sugar, enough flour to make a soft dough; flavor with nutmeg. Let it rise till very light, then mold into biscuits with a few currants. Let rise a second time in pan; bake, and when nearly done, glaze with a little molasses and milk. Use the same cup, no matter about the size, for each measure.
One teacup rice, one teacup sugar, one teacup raisins, small piece butter, a little salt, two quarts milk. Bake from an hour and a half to two hours. Serve with sauce. (There are numerous sauce recipes in the book.)